On November 25, 2020, the European Commission released the Data Governance Act (DGA) one of its first measures to support the European strategy for data. The DGA aims to foster data sharing by increasing trust in data intermediaries and strengthen data sharing mechanisms of public and private personal and non-personal data.
The goal of the DGA is to enable greater data sharing among public and private sector entities. Its key components include:
- Fostering reuse of certain categories of protected public sector data, such as confidential data (chapter II);
- Establishing a notification and compliance framework for providers of data sharing services (chapter III);
- Creating a voluntary registration regime for entities engaged in data altruism (i.e., voluntary sharing of personal and non-personal data for general interest purposes), such as scientific research (chapter IV);
- Establishing that both the notification and registration regimes will be monitored and implemented by a competent authority with the power to impose administrative and financial penalties in case of non-compliance with the rules, subject to judicial review (chapter V).
- Creating a European Data Innovation Board charged with advising and assisting the Commission in developing best practices and facilitating cooperation between member states.
The DGA is a positive step forward in outlining a framework to enhance data sharing in the EU and promote data-driven innovation, however further clarification will be necessary to ensure data protection and competition laws do not prevent firms from sharing data, to safeguard trade with non-EU countries, and to prevent the public sector from charging excessive fees for data access.